The All Progressives Congress Youth and Solidarity Forum has called on the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, to resign from their current positions before the party’s primaries in May.
According to the group, this would ensure fairness and give every candidate a level playing field ahead of the exercise.
Malami, Amaechi and other appointees under President Muhammadu Buhari’s government have recently signified interest to contest various elective positions in the country.
This prompted calls for their resignations to ensure they do not use their positions in government to their advantage and detriment of other contestants.
While reinforcing that call on Wednesday during a rally in front of the APC headquarters in Abuja, the youth group insisted that the ruling party was not the property of any individual.
Led by their Convener, Tobias Ogbeh, the group said non-resignation of such persons before the primaries could jeopardise the outcome of the exercise.
He said, “The last time we checked, the APC is not a personal property of a select few. Many of us in various capacities indeed contributed to the development and growth of the party over the years. It is insulting to our sensibilities when some persons whose contributions to the party can be counted with their fingertips are pushing the party towards the brink.
“It is no longer news that the general elections in 2023 are well underway. As such, it behoves that the party should be adequately prepared at this point but we are worried that all is not well within the party with regards to the provisions in Section 84(12) of the elections, which states that: no political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.
“As we all know, the Electoral Act has been passed into law and one wonders why political appointees in government that have indicated an interest in contesting elective positions have refused to resign their appointments.”
Speaking further, Ogbeh said that concerned stakeholders in the APC, especially the youth were appalled that such illegality would thrive despite the claim of the party that it is a movement of progressive people.
He added, “What are the likes of the Governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, and Chris Ngige still doing in government? Are we saying these individuals are above the law or are exempt from the provisions of the Electoral Act?
“It is unfortunate that the AGF is hell-bent on misleading the party with its attendant consequences. The AGF must be reminded that as the custodian of the law, he must rise above sentiments in the interpretation of the law, at the risk of the country becoming a laughing stock nationally and internationally.
“We are using this medium to reiterate that Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act is clear and unambiguous. Mr President should stop protecting a few influential individuals within the party to the detriment of the entire country. Such actions would be detrimental to the party’s electoral success in the 2023 general elections.
“On this note, the APC Youth and Development Forum is calling on the CBN governor, ministers and federal board members to do the needful and save the party’s neck.”